The Great Pandemic Theft
During the pandemic, an enormous amount of money — about $5 trillion in total — was spent to help support the newly unemployed and to prop up the U.S. economy while it was forced into suspension.
But the funds came with few strings and minimal oversight. The result: one of the largest frauds in American history, with billions of dollars stolen by thousands of people.
Guest: David A. Fahrenthold, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, focused on nonprofits.
- Investigators say there was so much fraud in federal Covid-relief programs that — even after two years of work and hundreds of prosecutions — they’re still just getting started.
- A federal watchdog almost tripled its estimate of the amount of unemployment benefits paid out to people who weren’t entitled to them, raising the figure to $45.6 billion, from $16 billion.
For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.